Whether you’ve chirped my musical choices before, the one above is perfectly suited for what we saw Wednesday night at the ‘Dome. The Calgary Flames rode three powerplay goals to a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators in a game the home side wasn’t overly impressive, but they did more than enough to win the hockey game. Three regulation losses in 21 games gets you back in the mix, and this team isn’t showing a ton of signs of slowing down.
A relatively loosely played first period saw the Calgary Flames start their dominance on the powerplay…and not score. An early Jarko Ruutu penalty got the Flames rolling, as they generated seven (7!!) shots on the man advantage, only to be turned aside by Ottawa’s Robin Lehner. It was at even strength when the Flames opened the scoring, thanks to Tim Jackman who batted home his eighth of the season at 8:40. The play started on a nice pass from Robyn Regehr to Niklas Hagman; his shot was eventually driven home by Jackman. But the Sens would score 37 seconds later on a pretty nice shot by Chris Kelly catching Miikka Kiprusoff going the other way. Ottawa would in fact take the lead at 10:21 when Chris Campoli fired home his third of the season from the left point, giving the Sens a one goal advantage heading into the break. Calgary was WAY down in the ES scoring chance count after 20, but getting eight powerplay chances makes things a little more even.
Calgary really reeled things back in for the entire second period, as they’d outchance the Sens and take the lead. Olli Jokinen would tie the game on the powerplay at 13:42, getting his tenth on a weird play. After taking a pass into the slot, Jokinen decided not to shoot, electing instead to find Curtis Glencross in the right circle who himself had a great scoring opportunity. But, Glencross passed back to Jokinen who put it past Lehner, and bam, 2-2. Ottawa would have zero push back after that, and Calgary would zone in, taking the lead on another odd play. An Olli Jokinen flip in the neutral zone got past Matt Carkner as he was trying to field a ground ball. The puck would go right to Curtis Glencross, and he ripped a no-doubter top shelf and the Flames took a 3-2 lead into the final frame.
Nothing in the third for the Sens, just a couple more for the Flames. Anton Babchuk would hammer home a powerplay goal for number seven on the year at 8:36 and Tim Jackman would finish off a great night with a powerplay marker at 15:38. Three powerplay goals for the first time this season, and the Flames win again.
One Good Reason…
…why the Flames won? That’s pretty easy tonight, it was the powerplay. Calgary was actually outchanced at even strength, thanks to a pretty sloppy first period, but they were lethal and extremely dangerous a man up. Kent had the Flames with 13 chances on the powerplay, and that sounds about right. I know they were playing a bad, bad team but this was as impressive the powerplay has looked all year.
Tim Jackman scored twice, extended his career high to nine goals, and went to work on the low end of the Senators forward depth. He was physical, hard on the puck, smart and consistent in his 12:39 of ice time. Nothing new here with Jackman, move along.
Sum It Up
Just win baby. The Flames weren’t great at even strength in the first period, they tightened up in the final 40 minutes, and came away with another two points. Calgary got almost no help from others tonight, with Anaheim, San Jose, Nashville, Phoenix, and Chicago all winning. Oh well, it’s a push. The Flames win, and whether they’re giving up games is immaterial at this point. Just win.